Review Summary: Jawbreaker's fourth album is an underrated work of art that should be listened to by everyone who likes deep lyrical-content and songs with meaning or substance.
Jawbreaker’s fourth album and first major label release, Dear You, should be called the blueprint for what is behind the countless horrible acts today that try to emulate the sound of this album. Dear You, in my opinion was their most well written with most of the lyrics dealing with love and relationships like past Jawbreaker albums. While this album is known to original Jawbreaker fans as the “sell-out” record this is anything but. This album basically improved upon the sound of 24 Hours Revenge Therapy with cleaner vocals and a clearer studio sound. Singer/songwriter Blake Schwarzenbach really gave us an idea of what his songwriting and lyrical content would eventually go to become when he created Jet To Brazil in the sense of his profound songwriting ability. While Jawbreaker is known as a punk band they took an alternative route with this one and created a beautifully sounding album. The album opens with “Save Your Generation” an okay song that makes a good opener for the album and then goes into “I Love You So Much It’s Killing Us Both” one of the weaker tracks of the album but a song you’ll eventually get into after a few listens. The album then goes to “Fireman” one of in my opinion Jawbreaker’s best written songs and this is the only song by Jawbreaker to have a video. Then we go into “Accident Prone” a Dear You favorite that is probably the best song on the album and it has a wonderful solo that builds up to the chorus to end the song. After that song “Chemistry” comes on but many might view it as a skip track but it’s one you’ll most certainly enjoy when you listen to it and the lyrics are not too bad as well. The next track is “Oyster” which starts off mellow then explodes after starting off with a nice metaphor “The world is an oyster-locked in a shell-you like the taste of it but can’t take the smell,” this song is sure to become a favorite. “Million” is the next track and seems to deal with signing to a record company but also about finding the “perfect girl” and many ways and is probably about Jawbreaker upon signing to DGC and the other countless offers they have received prior to that one. Then “Lurker II: Dark Son of Night” comes on and at first listen may seem like a skip track but sooner or later if you pay attention to the song you’ll like it as well and is sure a nice track to play before listening to “Jet Black” one of the more powerful Dear You songs with stand-out lyrics and great playing by Blake, Adam, and Chris. Then next is the popular “Bad Scene, Everyone’s Fault” with a title that can be about what the lyrics deal with or about the Bay Area punk scene in general. This song has a sound that would of fitted very well on the radio and could of possibly have been great for a second video for Jawbreaker. And then “Sluttering (May 4th)” comes on and is in a world of it’s own and you really begin to pay attention to the lyrics and realize that Blake is an amazing songwriter and should be in a category of his own. This song really stands out and has become a favorite among Jawbreaker fans who like their old stuff and the songs from this album. “Basilica” comes on next and starts off very slow and seems full of sorrow and is really played well but it’s really the only song that fit’s the whole “emo” label that they’re often given. Ending the album is “Unlisted Track” in my opinion the highlight of the album because of it’s acoustic sound and even with that are the very, very strong lyrics that are in the song and it seems like the perfect end for the album but unfortunately it’s their final song and its a song that makes you wonder where was Jawbreaker headed next in their music.
Overall the album is great and is under-looked in music despite the fact it has influenced what music became in the early to mid 2000s and the many bands that tried to sound like Jawbreaker so much but fail in many aspects. One of the most underrated albums by an underrated band may not be the most popular but it is truly a hidden gem to the people who have listened to the album.